Friday Facts: July 8, 2016

It’s Friday! 

Then and Now: In 1991, when the Georgia Public Policy Foundation was established, the Legislature approved a constitutional amendment designating lottery funds for education purposes. Voters ratified it in 1992 and the lottery began in 1993. Over the years, the Georgia Lottery Corp. reports generating more than $17.4 billion for education. Tonight’s Mega Millions jackpot is $540 million; the pot has rolled over since March.

Guide to the Issues 2016: Find out what the Foundation proposes on issues such as transportation, health care, education, taxes and more. Currently available online, each chapter includes principles for reform, facts on the issue, background information and, in most cases, positive solutions to the challenges facing Georgia. 

Quotes of Note 

“The question that should be put to those calling for restrictions on imports is: In an effort to save jobs in one industry, do you care about or even know of its cost and disastrous effects in other industries? When Congress enacts a miracle for one group of Americans, such as steel producers, it creates a non-miracle for another group, such as steel-using producers.” – Walter Williams 

“People wishing to destroy the fossil fuel industry seem to have no clue a) it’s that industry which got us to where we are now; b) how much directly or indirectly they use fossil fuels today and how different their lives would be if their policies were to be adopted; and c) this dream world they are in is still a dream. There is no question man has advanced rapidly in many things that needed to be powered with energy. But the same advancements in energy themselves are much, much slower.” – Joe Bastardi

“It is of great importance to set a resolution, not to be shaken, never to tell an untruth. There is no vice so mean, so pitiful, so contemptible; and he who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good disposition.” – Thomas Jefferson

A kind note from a Friend of the Foundation who moved to Beaufort, S.C., reminds us that supporters may leave the state but they don't leave the Georgia Public Policy Foundation!
A kind note from a Friend of the Foundation who moved to Beaufort, S.C., reminds us that supporters may leave the state but they don’t leave the Georgia Public Policy Foundation!

Criminal justice

Accidental criminals: A retired racecar driver on a snowmobile outing got lost and entered a National Forest Wilderness Area. A Native Alaskan trapper sold 10 sea otters to a buyer he thought was also a Native Alaskan. An 11-year-old girl rescued a baby woodpecker from her cat. All three qualify as federal crimes, even though the perpetrators had no idea they were breaking the law. These cases, where there was no criminal intent, are a few examples of the need to reform mens rea, the Reason Foundation reports.

Health care 

CON: North Carolina’s Legislature adjourned July 1 without passing a bill that would have repealed certificate of need requirements. In terms of the number of laws, North Carolina ranks fourth and Georgia 18th on the Mercatus Center’s analysis of the 36 states and the District of Columbia that limit entry or expansion of health care facilities through CON. CON laws prohibit health care providers from entering new markets or making changes to existing capacity without the approval of state regulators.


Mission creep: The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is trying to force private companies to pay mitigation for perfectly legal impacts to migratory birds and their habitat, The Hill reports. Instead of rulemaking, “voluntary payments” to offset authorized and lawful impacts to bird habitat have become a de facto requirement for approval of certain development projects. 

Friday Flashback

This month in the archives: In July five years ago, the Foundation published, “What’s HOT, What’s Not About High-Occupancy Toll Lanes for Georgia.” It noted, “Georgia must not stop with 16 miles, but push forward to build a regional express lane network.” We’re pleased to report such a network is moving toward reality – from 16 miles to more than 200 miles under way or planned!


Foundation in the news: Georgia Trend magazine’s July edition quoted Kelly McCutchen in an article recapping the legislative session. The Marietta Daily Journal published an article by Benita Dodd, “Price Controls: A Poor Prescription for Georgia.” The Georgia Charitable Care Network newsletter published Benita’s commentary on Rome’s free clinic.

The Forum: Benita Dodd’s latest, “Checking Up On Health,” shares national health experts’ views of the Republican health care plan. 

Social media: This week, the Foundation has 2,978 Facebook “likes” and 1,635 Twitter followers at Follow us on Instagram, too!

Visit to read our latest commentary, “Georgia Must Correct Dental Care Disparities,” by Nicoleta Serban. 

Have a great weekend!

Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd

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